Matt Testimony – Part 1

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(Part 1/11)

“My home was not stable. My parents were a mess. I think if they were honest, they would say that about themselves too. There was a lot of fear in my home. My mom was an explosive Hispanic mother, very explosive. And then she would drink a lot. So it was always verbal explosions. Me fighting and yelling at her, her fighting and yelling at me and throwing items. My dad was a super quiet German. But he had a lot of issues that he medicated by using pain pills and things like that. Then he would explode too, so you never knew. It was eggshells with dad, but not eggshells with mom, but always exploding. They never held down a long-term job, never had a career, we were always getting by day-to-day. So though we lived in the same house, the sense of emotional stuff was always feeling super unstable.

As a kid growing up, if I wanted to play soccer, I had to sign myself up, pull weeds in the neighborhood to get the money for fees, and then my parents always said the only way I could go was if my coach could pick me up. And that was in the 3rd or 4th grade. So I was on the phone with my coach saying, ‘Hey I want to play on the team, but can you pick me up for practice and games?’ What the heck kind of parent does that? My parents wouldn’t be there. So many times, for whatever reason, they thought they had to do their own thing that was more important. Those activities weren’t important to them, but those are the activities you remember as a kid.

I just remember an overall feeling of them never being there. They always had a reason; they always had an excuse. They weren’t planners. They weren’t organized. That’s part of the reason they couldn’t hold onto jobs. I was the kid who always figured it out. It taught me a level of independence, it taught me a level of growing up in some capacity, but again not having them there didn’t help me. I think I never matured healthily emotionally. I matured with responsibility. I matured in how to take care of myself and get things done. Not having that contact from a parent, teaching you from living in those difficult first-time type things, as I got older with my first marriage, that’s where it began to unravel because I didn’t have that emotional support.”